Posts

BHTV: Eliezer Yudkowsky & Razib Khan 2010-02-06T14:27:12.762Z · score: 12 (17 votes)
Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer Yudkowsky: Video Answers 2010-01-07T04:40:35.546Z · score: 43 (43 votes)
Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer Yudkowsky: Ask Your Questions 2009-11-11T03:00:39.093Z · score: 17 (19 votes)
A Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer (Step 1: The Proposition) 2009-10-29T15:04:30.286Z · score: 16 (23 votes)
BHTV: Eliezer Yudkowsky and Andrew Gelman 2009-10-13T20:09:18.348Z · score: 8 (9 votes)
Why Don’t We Apply What We Know About Twins to Everybody Else? 2009-10-01T16:23:42.085Z · score: 13 (20 votes)

Comments

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes August 2012 · 2012-08-09T20:06:20.218Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes…

— Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-03T17:33:52.301Z · score: 20 (28 votes) · LW · GW

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea...

  • Antoine de Saint Exupery
Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-03T17:32:32.109Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW · GW

“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”

― Brandon Mull, Fablehaven

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-03T17:31:34.084Z · score: 13 (21 votes) · LW · GW

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”

  • Confucius
Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-06T17:23:05.447Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

The correctness of a decision can’t be judged from the outcome. Nevertheless, that’s how people assess it. A good decision is one that’s optimal at the time it’s made, when the future is by definition unknown. Thus, correct decisions are often unsuccessful, and vice versa.

--Howard Marks, The Most Important Thing p.136 (about investing, but applies to other things)

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-04T18:56:35.658Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

We have two classes of forecasters: Those who don't know and those who don't know they don't know.

John Kenneth Galbraith

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-03T18:23:22.333Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Let us take what the terrain gives.

-Amos Tversky

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes November 2009 · 2011-10-22T05:46:31.376Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't remember exactly, but I think it was from a conference where he was speaking with Eliezer on a panel or Q&A, so that might be it.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes October 2011 · 2011-10-11T01:25:29.009Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My understanding is that the advice is to be aware that you could also end up dead, so you should dig an extra grave for yourself. It's not practical advice, it's a warning that revenge is dangerous and not worth it.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes October 2011 · 2011-10-07T00:19:29.986Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

-Confucius

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-11T04:37:20.361Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not only may questions remain unanswered; all the right questions may not even have been asked.

-Seth Klarman, Margin of Safety, p.90

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-11T04:37:05.240Z · score: 21 (21 votes) · LW · GW

“When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.”

-Steve Jobs, [Wired, February 1996]

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-11T04:36:28.235Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

"Using the bible to prove the existence of god is like using The Lord Of The Rings to prove the existence of Hobbits."

-Anon.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-07T03:43:09.892Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-07T03:38:33.876Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Unless there are two horseshoe quotes, this one seems to be disputed:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Niels_Bohr#Disputed

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-03T04:39:12.510Z · score: 20 (28 votes) · LW · GW

One of the most serious problems with modern "management" is that the incentives are all wrong. Imagine that I hire a programmer and pay him by the line of code. This idea has been so thoroughly debunked that it is nearly impossible to write out the consequences without sounding cliché. Yet it happens all the time: Companies promote "Architects" who are evaluated by the weight of their "architecture." The result is stultifying and demoralizing. The architect does not work to facilitate the programmer's work, he works to produce evidence of his contribution in the form of frameworks, standards, and software process.

So, how are most managers evaluated? By the amount of "managing" they do, as measured by the amount of process they impose on their team. Evaluating a manager by the amount of managing they do is exactly the same thing as evaluating a programmer by the amount of code they write. And it produces results like you describe, where the manager works to produce evidence of their management in the form of processes and decisions from the top down, rather than facilitating the work actually being done.

-raganwald, HN, http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2423236

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-03T04:37:58.878Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

One perennial problem is the overwhelming incentive for analysts to issue “Buy” recommendations. The universe of stocks not owned by a customer is always much larger than the list of those currently owned. Consequently, it’s much easier to generate commissions from new “Buy” recommendations than from recommendations to sell.

-Joel Greenblatt

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: June 2011 · 2011-06-08T17:29:12.486Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

It can be that, but I think it also illustrate the importance of understanding people's real goals and intentions and not assuming that they are what they appear to be at first glance.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: June 2011 · 2011-06-02T18:37:39.043Z · score: 32 (40 votes) · LW · GW

"At one of our dinners, Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

-Milton Friedman story

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: June 2011 · 2011-06-02T18:36:26.445Z · score: 17 (19 votes) · LW · GW

"The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war."

--WSJ article about Navy SEALs

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: June 2011 · 2011-06-02T18:35:34.103Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The way to maximize outcome is to concentrate on the process.

-Seth Klarman, letter to shareholders

Comment by michaelgr on Ottawa LW Meetup Saturday April 16th · 2011-04-12T23:04:42.283Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'd love to go, but I'm repainting our new apartment on that day and we already have people coming over to help so it's very hard to reschedule. I'll definitely be there the next time if it's announced long enough in advance. Thank you for taking the initiative!

Comment by michaelgr on Of Gender and Rationality · 2011-03-26T03:37:04.604Z · score: 0 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Very cool of you. At least one person noticed!

Comment by michaelgr on Of Gender and Rationality · 2011-03-24T03:06:28.023Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you.

Goes to show that nothing goes away on the internet; I posted the parent comment 2 years ago.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: March 2011 · 2011-03-08T18:41:38.046Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

  • Mark Twain
Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:53:17.184Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

It has never mattered to me that thirty million people might think I'm wrong. The number of people who thought Hitler was right did not make him right... Why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?

-- Frank Zappa, quoted from The Real Frank Zappa Book

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:52:24.925Z · score: 14 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid.

-John Wayne, Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:51:58.269Z · score: 32 (32 votes) · LW · GW

The Company that needs a new machine tool is already paying for it.

-old Warner & Swasey ad

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:51:43.706Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.

-Chinese proverb

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: February 2011 · 2011-02-03T14:50:58.087Z · score: 14 (16 votes) · LW · GW

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

-Mark Twain

Comment by michaelgr on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject · 2011-01-18T17:11:42.701Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've added it to my list. I'm currently reading Poor Charlie's Almanack and liking it a lot so far.

The best business book I've read is probably The Essays of Warren Buffett (second ed.), but it's certainly not exhaustive in what it covers.

Update: I've got my copy from Amazon.ca (really fast shipping - 2 days). Will probably have a chance to read it in February.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-05T19:21:04.758Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's a good question. If I had to guess, I would say that most people used to be familiar with the domestic turkey that is being fattened for thanksgiving dinner (or whatever), and those probably can't fly very well, if at all.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:33:59.943Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

In a strong enough wind, even turkeys can fly.

-Saying of investors

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:33:38.505Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

We will learn an enormous amount in the very short term, quite a bit in the medium term and absolutely nothing in the long term.

-Jeremy Grantham, about the stock market/economy.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:32:45.457Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much.

-Walter Lippmann

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:32:11.148Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Take the bettors in the racetrack experiment. Thirty seconds before putting down their money, they had been tentative and uncertain; thirty seconds after the deed, they were significantly more optimistic ans self-assured. The act of making a final decision--in this case, of buying a ticket--had been the critical factor. Once a stand had been taken, the need for consistency pressured these people to bring what they felt and believed into line with what they had already done. They simply convinced themselves that they had made the right choice and, no doubt, felt better and it all.

-Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The psychology of Persuasion, p.59

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T21:31:43.479Z · score: 18 (22 votes) · LW · GW

The person you are most afraid to contradict is yourself.

-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Comment by michaelgr on Best of Rationality Quotes 2009/2010 · 2010-12-22T16:38:20.785Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you.

Comment by michaelgr on Best of Rationality Quotes 2009/2010 · 2010-12-21T20:10:21.827Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for putting this together, I'm definitely saving it for later perusal!

Apparently, I contributed 27 quotes this year.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-08T17:25:15.880Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The 2002 letter can be found here:

http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2002pdf.pdf

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-05T21:49:21.400Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

-George Bernard Shaw

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-03T17:40:15.528Z · score: 25 (25 votes) · LW · GW

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake.

-Confucius

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-03T17:39:42.899Z · score: 40 (42 votes) · LW · GW

The Noah principle: predicting rain doesn’t count, building arks does.

-Warren E. Buffett

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-03T17:38:21.773Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

A small leak can sink a great ship.

-Benjamin Franklin

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: November 2010 · 2010-11-07T16:28:24.638Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Overall, however, we've done better by avoiding dragons than by slaying them. -Warren E. Buffett

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: November 2010 · 2010-11-06T20:12:03.518Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think he had things like the development of physics in the 20th century that led to the creation of the A and H bombs. I got the quote from Richard Rhodes history of the making of the atomic bomb.

It doesn't matter exactly which blackboard or wrote wrote what, in the end, a bunch of people making calculations and experiments changed the course of human affairs pretty significantly.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: November 2010 · 2010-11-06T18:48:52.307Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

If you can't tell whose side someone is on, they are not on yours. -Warren E. Buffett

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: November 2010 · 2010-11-06T17:09:59.610Z · score: 14 (16 votes) · LW · GW

A horse that can count to ten is a remarkable horse, not a remarkable mathematician.
--Samuel Johnson

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: November 2010 · 2010-11-04T21:10:40.611Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful, they are found because it was possible to find them. -J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Comment by michaelgr on Rationality Quotes: November 2010 · 2010-11-04T21:09:50.305Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

It is still an unending source of surprise for me how a few scribbles on a blackboard or on a piece of paper can change the course of human affairs. -Stanislaw Ulam